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Report: Justin Fields Requested to be Traded to Steelers

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields badly wanted to join the Steelers and even asked to be moved there.



Pittsburgh Steelers Chicago Bears Justin Fields
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) passes during an NFL football game between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Former Chicago Bears and current Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Justin Fields badly wanted to be traded to the team, and that is why he is now with the team despite four or five other teams being interested in acquiring Fields, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The Steelers ended up trading a sixth-round pick that could conditionally become a fourth-round pick.

At least four additional teams inquired about trading for Fields, but Fields’ representation asked for him not to be traded there. He wanted the Steelers, and the Bears did right by him,” Rapoport said.

Fields took a small step forward in 2023, his third year as Chicago’s starting quarterback. The 24-year-old Ohio State alum threw 370 times, completing 227 for 2,562 yards and 16 touchdowns. He threw nine interceptions and maintained an 86.3 passer rating and a 5.29 adjusted net yards per attempt.

Last season, he was 192 of 318 for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, an 85.2 quarterback rating and 4.63 adjusted net yards per attempt.

Justin Fields is entering the final year of his rookie contract and the Steelers must decide this offseason if they want to pick up the fifth-year option on his contract. That would be a guaranteed $25 million contract for 2025. The Steelers could negotiate a traditional contract extension.

He will now back up Russell Wilson for the season, though if he impresses enough and Wilson struggles, it should be a little surprise that Fields starts games at some point in the season. And it is an environment where Fields can at least go in and develop under Wilson.

Fields is one of the most dynamic runners on the ground in football. If you think that’s wrong, check the stats. Fields is right there with some of the best scramblers in the NFL, such as Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts. The designed quarterback runs the game with Fields because he is a dynamic athlete and so strong that he sticks out. The Bears even started to build that around him at times but never fully committed to it.

That mobility and speed transfer into the passing game. Fields can throw off platforms and out of structure with the best of them. There are multiple moments on tape where the tape flashes because Fields has magic out of structure. That is a special trait, and his arm talent allows his ceiling to be much higher than it otherwise would be.

But if Justin Fields takes the next step, it will be by consistently playing within the pocket and winning from within there. This is the absolute essential separation between him and Jackson. Jackson has learned to be a dynamic athlete and particular creator out of the structure, dissect defenses within the structure, and win in the pocket. Fields has the special magic you want at that position, but the way he plays makes him one of the most volatile quarterbacks in the league.